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Japan, EU agree to launch FTA talks


20:46, March 25, 2013

TOKYO, March 25 (Xinhua) -- Japan and the European Union on Monday agreed to launch Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks in an effort to create a trading bloc covering about one-third of world' s gross domestic product, according to local media.

The decision was made during telephone talks between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, Japan's Kyodo News Agency reported, citing a government official.

The talks were held after the postponement of Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso's planned visit to Japan on Monday, due to Cyprus' financial crisis.

The first round of the FTA negotiations would start as early as in April, targeting tariffs cuts, trade and investment liberalization, Kyodo reported.

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